If you’re a regular at the barre studio, you know just how challenging and effective a workout it can be. But if you feel like you’ve hit a plateau, or just want to take your practice to the next level, there are plenty of ways to make your barre workout more challenging and effective without sacrificing form or safety. Here are eight tips to try:
1. Increase your range of motion. When you’re doing small, controlled movements at the barre, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. To challenge yourself, try increasing your range of motion. For example, if you’re doing pliés, try lowering down deeper than you usually would, or if you’re doing leg lifts, try lifting your leg higher than you usually would. Just be sure to maintain proper alignment and control.
2. Use heavier weights. If you’re using light weights for your arm exercises, try switching to heavier weights. This will challenge your muscles more and help you build strength and definition faster.
3. Experiment with tempo. Changing up the tempo of your movements can make a big difference in how challenging your workout feels. Try slowing down your movements to really focus on control and stability, or speed them up to get your heart rate up and burn more calories.
4. Try new variations. Barre workouts are all about small, precise movements, but there are plenty of variations you can try to keep things fresh. Ask your instructor for some new variations to try, or look up some online. Just be sure to maintain proper form and alignment.
5. Add in some cardio. Barre workouts are great for toning and strengthening, but if you want to really challenge yourself, add in some cardio. You can do this by adding in some jumping jacks or high knees between sets, or by doing a few rounds of burpees or mountain climbers.
6. Focus on balance. Balance is a key component of barre workouts, but it’s also something that can always be improved. Try incorporating some balance exercises into your routine, like standing on one leg while doing arm circles or lifting one foot off the ground during leg lifts.
7. Engage your core more. Your core is engaged throughout most barre exercises, but there are ways to really focus on it and make it work harder. Try doing some exercises specifically focused on the core, like planking or crunches, or just really focus on engaging your core during each exercise.
8. Take a more advanced class. If you’ve been doing the same level of class for a while, it might be time to try something more advanced. Look for an intermediate or advanced class in your area, or try taking a workshop or private lesson to really challenge yourself.
Remember, the key to a challenging and effective barre workout is to always focus on proper form and alignment. Don’t sacrifice safety for the sake of a harder workout. With these tips, you can take your barre practice to the next level and see even more results.